One of the frustrating things about working in digital marketing is the vacuum of marketing jargon that is irrelevant outside of the industry. When we speak with clients, they’re often confused because they’ve talked to other agencies and left the meeting wondering, “What’s the difference between engagement rate and reach?” or “Wait, is digital marketing different from content marketing?”
We wanted to dispel some confusion surrounding the terms “brand management” and “content management.” It can seem like these get used to describe the same thing, but they’re different and require a different approach and strategy.
(We’ll tackle some other jargon and confusing terms another day, we promise!)
What is Brand management?
Brand management is managing your company's identity—it’s about more than just a logo or a tagline. Your brand is essential to your success and can help customers pick your business out from the crowd. Effective branding can turn one-time customers and lookie-loos into followers and brand champions.
The thing with a lot of digital marketing (yes, your brand's digital identity is a part of the larger umbrella of digital marketing) is that it takes time. Building a recognizable brand involves having a cohesive and identifiable presence throughout your communication avenues. This means having an Instagram feed that looks and feels like your website or storefront or a voice on your email newsletter that matches your blog.
Brand management focuses on the emotion behind your product or service. Consider a few great branding examples, such as Apple, Nike, and Airbnb. Nike doesn’t just talk about the features and specifics of its products. In their branding, they focus on what YOU can do with the aid of their products. These major companies consider their customers' lifestyles and how their product solves problems or makes them feel. Branding tells a story in a way that is recognizable regardless of if it is an Instagram Reel, a blog, or a mailout.
What is Content Management?
Content management (sometimes referred to as content marketing) focuses specifically on content. What do we mean by that? Content is any “information presented with a purpose distributed to people in a form through a channel,” according to Margot Lester. Content is purpose-driven, provides information, is created for a particular person or audience, and is designed in a specific form for a chosen platform or channel. Essentially content could be the words on a blog, a graphic on Instagram, or even a podcast.
Content management involves the development of content with strategy. Perhaps you’re recording a podcast to answer a question from a listener or writing a blog to rank on search engines for a new service you’re offering. Instead of simply writing a blog or recording a podcast, careful thought goes into the “why” behind it.
Content management has a purpose behind it, but it’s not going out and grabbing the attention of potential readers. Content management focuses on optimizing the content so the reader will find the material when they’re looking.
How are they different?
Content management and brand management do work together in many ways. A significant difference is that brand management focuses on calling out to you. In contrast, content management focuses on creating content that a customer is already looking for. Rather than calling out, content waits for you to come and find it and then offers value so that you want to stay connected. Think of it this way: brand management is like how a Cheetah hunts and content management is how a spider hunts. Too animal planet for you?
Which one do I need more?
In all honesty, you can’t choose just brand management or content management. You may only focus on content management or marketing, but in a roundabout way, content management will contribute to your company’s overall brand identity. Similarly, you may only focus on building your brand identity, but a lot of the material you create for this will ultimately be content with a purpose.
The best content management plans also include an element of brand management. If a content management plan doesn’t consider the business's brand, you could end up with a podcast that feels completely different from your email newsletter or TikTok feed. Brand management and rebranding aim to look at your business's holistic visual and written identity. Once you have this plan in place, creating content for a set goal and purpose that is still visually identifiable as your company will be easier. Considering all these things will help your business succeed in the long run as you develop more recognition and trust within the marketplace.
Ready to find a team with content management and brand strategy experience? Our team of digital strategists, copywriters, designers, and brand managers is here to help you create a clear brand identity and plan so that your content can start finding you those dream clients you’re looking for. Get in touch with us today to learn more.